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Germany modifies Puma before NATO task force deployment
Optical systems, weapon effects and soldier protection features on the Puma tracked IFV have been ‘significantly modified’ so that the German Army can undertake a lead role in the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) deployment in 2023, the German Armed Forces announced on 18 March.
For VJTF, Puma forms part of a broader Panzergrenadier system comprising the IFV and the modular Future Soldier – Expanded System (IdZ-ES) soldier system in an advanced, network-enabled warfare environment.
However, a tactical operational test in July 2020 was unsuccessful as ‘significant defects’ were found 'and the capabilities of the system were significantly limited’, the German Armed Forces noted.
As a result, the German defence procurement agency BAAINBw, the German Army and an industry team led by Rheinmetall spent six months modifying the Puma.
A second operational test in February 2021 (including a comprehensive logistics and supply assessment) proved the tactical combat capability of the vehicle as ‘an essential prerequisite’ for deploying Puma in VJTF 2023, according to the German Armed Forces.
Training and certification will be carried out by Panzergrenadierbataillon 112 before VJTF 2023 deploys.
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